There is (still) a glaring hole in the Atlanta Braves outfield and there is a glaring option that makes too much sense.
While most had visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads over the Christmas holiday, I had these persistent Atlanta Braves dreams… visions of the best outfield in baseball.
Mitch Haniger patrolling Sun Trust Park’s outfield for the next four years?
My feelings towards this are similar to the reaction my three-year old gave when she saw Santa left her a Princess Barbie (she full-on sprinted from the stairs, grabbed the Barbie, ran back upstairs, then came back down again).
If I get a notification on my phone that the Braves acquired Haniger, I could all Frank in Old School: “WE’RE GOING STREAKING!”
Now of course I would not subject the world to that, but I think you get my point.
The Perfect Fit
Haniger is the perfect player for the Braves as their roster is currently constructed.
A six-win player last year, Haniger has not even reached arbitration yet. The Mariners are clearly trying to rebuild or retool or something like that.
Seattle saw it could not compete with the juggernaut Astros and decided to replenish a weak farm system with eyes toward the future.
It seems unlikely the Mariners will be good again in the four years (presumably) of control they have on Haniger… though apparently they are under the delusion that it will happen by 2020 or 2021.
So why not get a haul for the first-time all-star?
Think about the top five of this lineup for a moment and ask yourself how many teams could match it. (Quick answer: not many).
- Acuna, Donaldson, Freeman, Haniger, Albies.
That’s a minimum of 125 home runs right there.
Listen, I understand the cost will be astronomical, and Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has said as much. In fact, Dipoto said he would have to be overwhelmed to move Haniger.
Define ‘overwhelmed’ for me
At the time, Giolito was the 3rd best prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, while Lopez was #38 and Dunning was the Nationals’ first round pick in the previous year’s draft.
With the White Sox in 2016, Eaton had an identical WAR to Haniger in 2018 (6.1) and had five years of control left, after signing a team-friendly deal in 2016.
Using that deal as a barometer, a Braves-Mariners deal COULD LOOK like this:
Before you angrily scroll to the comment section and tell me what kind of idiot I am, think about what that trade does for the Braves.
The ultimate bottom line: you add a power-hitting outfielder – in his prime and coming off a breakout year – to a talented core.
It’s time for a little post-holiday shopping for Alex Anthopoulous.